Live Review: Big Scary at Hoxton Bar and Kitchen, London

big scary

This small band from Melbourne, Big Scary, have had a quite busy month. After supporting Courtney Barnett on her European/UK tour, the band set aside two intimate shows before they pack up the gear, go back to Oz and defrost. I was quite enthusiastic to see Jo and Tom with an international crowd, after seeing them back in Melbourne when Courtney was supporting Big Scary on their Not Art LP tour.

Monday night gigs are just like any other, but for me it was quite dramatic. ID and bag checked and leaving enough time to emotionally and physically prepare for the show. As I made my way downstairs I couldn’t help but notice there was no more than 10 people representing the crowd. The support band was still on performing their butts off and playing 5 minutes into Big Scary’s set time before they joyfully announced, “We are going to play for another 10 minutes and I don’t even care!” I guessed scheduling isn’t as strict or something was not quite right. My maps app brought it to my attention that I’m at the wrong venue. After arriving at the true Hoxton Bar & Kitchen confirmed by security, the room was packed and Big Scary were 15 minutes into their set. I’m in the right place. This is going well.

With a ‘Kilometer Davis’ joke and comparing of the room temperature to Melbourne summers the strong Australian presence in the crowd lapped it up. Their set started strong, I can only assume. With Tom’s vocals on point, the howls echoing into crowd set off the right vibe for the rest of set. Big Scary teased us with some unreleased music, pouring liquid gold into our eardrums and it oozing out of the tapping feet and shaking shoulders of the crowd.

After Tom’s side project, No 1 Dads, I’m glad to hear that Big Scary’s sound has come back gutsier than ever. Their style can be described as saxy sax, babe-in bass, kray kray keys and damb good drums to put it mildly. Comparing their performance from previous gigs, they have perfected their stage presence and their growing sound is effortless and cohesive. The true sign of world domination…dannn dannn daaaaann. Continuing with ‘Gladiator’ from their first album, the head bopping and shoulder shaking intensified. ‘Twin Rivers’ captivated the crowd before leading them into choir duty with ‘Purple’ to finish.
With an impressive catalogue of tunes under their expanding belt, Big Scary are proving that not only do they keep providing their fans with goods but their exploration of their sound reassures us that there is plenty to come. Big Scary, it’s time to get some bigger trousers!